A pragmatic approach to business ethics is argued for in this volume, which demonstrates the usefulness of the approach by applying it to a variety of issues. These issues are broad and far-reaching and include the relations between rational and moral//ethical decision-making, the limits of loyalty to employers, the impact of trust on business and the role of commercial public opinion polling during elections. The author also covers advertising, tobacco promotion, manufacture and marketing of armaments, concentration and taxation of wealth, (...) and the North American Free Trade Agreement. (shrink)
Sweet describes the pragmatic foundations of standard logic and applies these foundations to the task of developing a theory of intended models as an extension of standard model theory in which the relevant "intending" is represented pragmatically. Methods of formal logic are used to investigate the structure of the relation between language and the world. The truism which holds that this relation includes the speaker as well as the object spoken about is formally explicated and applied to the problem of (...) illuminating one of the deepest phenomena in standard model theory: the existence of non-isomorphic models of complete theories. To this end it is shown that standard logic admits pragmatic foundations upon which a theory of intended models can be built as an extension of standard model theory. The relevant "intending" is represented by the very forms of verbal behavior which determine the grammatical and logical structure of the sentences whose referential meaning is in question. The uniqueness properties of the class of intended models may then be described. The first section of the book states the immediate goal of standard pragmatics as that of recovering the algebraic structure first-order logic by means of a purely pragmatic construction. The second section, the major portion of the work, then provides the foundation for a semiotic theory of intended models and referential meaning. The theory is then applied to the problem of referential indeterminancy, which has been associated with the phenomenon of scientific revolutions. The theory is also applied to the problem of the apparent synonymy of observationally equivalent theories. Sweet concludes that such theories are not referentially synonymous in any natural sense which is analogous to the paradigm sense in which theories of alternative scales of measurement are referentially synonymous. A novel feature of this book is the formal explication of the idea that the factors, pragmatical in nature, which distinguish the actual meaning of a sentence from among its possible meanings, whose range is defined by the manner in which the sentence is parsed, determine that very parsing. Applicability to natural language of the model-theoretic semantics thereby obtained is made possible by another feature of the book: the development of a theory of locally standard grammar which provides the foundation for representing the structure of natural language as that of standard first-order logic, in a local, as distinguished from a global, sense. This book is intended for scholars in logic, semiotics, and the philosophies of language and of science. Those concerned specifically with such philosophers as Peirce, Martin, and Davidson will also find the study valuable. (shrink)
Those aspects of language use that are crucial to an understanding of language as a system, and especially to an understanding of meaning, are the acknowledged concern of linguistic pragmatics. Yet until now much of the work in this field has not been easily accessible to the student, and was often written at an intimidating level of technicality. In this textbook, however, Dr Levinson has provided a lucid and integrative analysis of the central topics in pragmatics - deixis, (...) implicature, presupposition, speech acts, and conversational structure. A central concern of the book is the relation between pragmatics and semantics, and Dr Levinson shows clearly how a pragmatic approach can resolve some of the problems semantics have been confronting and simplifying semantic analyses. The complexity of these issues is not disguised, but the exposition is always clear and supported by helpful exemplification. The detailed analyses of selected topics give the student a clear view of the empirical rigour demanded by the study of linguistic pragmatics, but Dr Levinson never loses sight of the rich diversity of the subject. An introduction and conclusion relate pragmatics to other fields in linguistics and other disciplines concerned with language usage - psychology, philosophy, anthropology and literature. Many students in these disciplines, as well as students of linguistics, will find this a valuable textbook. (shrink)
I present a challenge to epistemological pragmatic encroachment theories from epistemic injustice. The challenge invokes the idea that a knowing subject may be wronged by being regarded as lacking knowledge due to social identity prejudices. However, in an important class of such cases, pragmatic encroachers appear to be committed to the view that the subject does not know. Hence, pragmatic encroachment theories appear to be incapable of accounting for an important type of injustice – namely, discriminatory epistemic injustice. Consequently, pragmatic (...) encroachment theories run the risk of obscuring or even sanctioning epistemically unjust judgments that arise due to problematic social stereotypes or unjust folk epistemological biases. In contrast, the epistemological view that rejects pragmatic encroachment – namely, strict purist invariantism – is capable of straightforwardly diagnosing the cases of discriminatory epistemic injustice as such. While the challenge is not a conclusive one, it calls for a response. Moreover, it illuminates very different conceptions of epistemology’s role in mitigating epistemic injustice. (shrink)
Formal Pragmatics addresses issues that are on the borderline of semantics and pragmatics of natural language, from the point of view of a model-theoretic semanticist. This up-to-date resource covers a substantial body of formal work on linguistic phenomena, and presents the way the semantics-pragmatics interface has come to be viewed today.
This collection of contributions from both linguists and lawyers brings a pragmatic perspective to the linguistic basis for legal meaning and for finding a norm by which to decide a case. That is, it turns from notions of linguistic meaning as residing in the text, as literal meaning waiting to be dug out, to focus instead on how readers infer pragmatic meaning, and on the kinds of inferencing that characterise legal discourse.
Pragmatic encroachment theories of knowledge may be characterized as views according to which practical factors may partly determine the truth-value of ascriptions that S knows that p – even though these factors do not partly determine S’s belief that p or p itself. The pros and cons of variations of pragmatic encroachment are widely discussed in epistemology. But despite a long pragmatist tradition in the philosophy of science, few efforts have been devoted to relate this particular view to issues in (...) philosophy of science. Consequently, a central aim of the present paper is to consider how the contemporary debates over pragmatic encroachment connect to philosophy of science. More specifically, I will set forth some arguments against the idea of pragmatic encroachment on scientific knowledge. Moreover, I will argue that it is not plausible to respond to these arguments by embedding pragmatic encroachment in the anti-realist framework of constructive empiricism. So, I conclude that there are good reasons to reject pragmatic encroachment theories of scientific knowledge. (shrink)
This chapter has three aims. Firstly, it elaborates the so-called pragmatic approach to fictionalism. By evoking some classical pragmatic theories of fictive utterances, it gives an account of pragmatic properties responsible for the difference between serious and fictive utterances. The authors argue for the thesis that the pragmatic approach can be applied plausibly to all kinds of fictionalism, that is from instrumentalism to figuralism. Secondly, the authors investigate some consequences of the suggested account for fictionalist theories in general. They show (...) that some more or less known difficulties of fictionalist theories become more serious if one accepts the pragmatic approach. The chapter discusses two of them, namely the problem of entirely fictional discourses and the apparent contradiction between hermeneutic fictionalism and first person authority. Thirdly, the authors investigate the consequences of the pragmatic approach for mental fictionalism in particular. At the end of the paper, they argue that once the pragmatic approach is applied to mental fictionalism, the well-known problem of cognitive suicide becomes especially nagging. They suggest it is highly questionable that mental fictionalism is worth to endorse in the light of these serious difficulties. (shrink)
If knowledge is sensitive to practical stakes, then whether one knows depends in part on the practical costs of being wrong. When considering religious belief, the practical costs of being wrong about theism may differ dramatically between the theist (if there is no God) and the atheist (if there is a God). This paper explores the prospects, on pragmatic encroachment, for knowledge of theism (even if true) and of atheism (even if true), given two types of practical costs: namely, by (...) holding a false belief, or by missing out on a true belief. These considerations set up a more general puzzle of epistemic preference when faced with the choice between two beliefs, only one of which could become knowledge. (shrink)
Intercultural Pragmatics studies how language systems are used in social encounters between speakers who have different first languages and cultures, yet communicate in a common language. The field first emerged in the early 21st century, joining two seemingly antagonistic approaches to pragmatics research: the cognitive-philosophical approach, which considers intention as an a priori mental state of the speaker, and the sociocultural-interactional approach, which considers it as a post factum construct created by both speaker and hearer though conversation. Istvan (...) Kecskes, an early proponent of intercultural pragmatics, was among the first to propose merging the two to form the socio-cognitive approach now core to the field. In Intercultural Pragmatics, the first book on the subject, Kecskes establishes the foundations of the field, boldly combining the pragmatic view of cooperation with the cognitive view of egocentrism in order to incorporate emerging features of communication. He argues that people cooperate by generating and formulating intention that is relevant to the given actual situational context. At the same time, however, because of their egocentrism they activate the most salient information to their attention in the construction and comprehension of utterances. Within this approach, interlocutors are considered as social beings searching for meaning with individual minds embedded in a socio-cultural collectivity, and intention is a cooperation-directed practice that is governed by relevance which depends on actual situational experience.Intercultural pragmatics is a rapidly-growing field, and the only subfield of pragmatics to incorporate features of intercultural interaction into mainstream pragmatics. This volume offers both a valuable synthesis of current research and a new way to think about pragmatics. (shrink)
When asked in 1962 on what he was working Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz replied: Several years ago Polish Scientific Publishers suggested that I pre pare a new edition of The Logical Foundations of Teaching, which I wrote 1 before 1939 as a contribution to The Encyclopaedia of Education. It was a small booklet covering elementary information about logical semantics and scientific methodology, information which in my opinion was necessary as a foundation of teaching and as an element of the education of any (...) teacher. When I recently set to preparing the new edition, I rewrote practically everything, and a booklet of some 100 pages swelled into a bulky volume almost five times bigger. The issues have remained practically the same, but they are now analysed much more thoroughly and the threshold of difficulty is much higher now. The main stress has been laid on the methods used in the empirical sciences, and within that field, on the theory of measurement and the methods of statistical inference. I am now working on the last chapter of the book, concerned with explanation procedures and theory construction in the empirical sciences. When that book, which I intend to entitle Pragmatic Logic, is com pleted I intend to prepare for the press Vol. 2 of my minor writings, 2 Language and Cognition, which will cover some of my post-war pa pers. (shrink)
Researchers have converged on the idea that a pragmatic understanding of communication can shed important light on the evolution of language. Accordingly, animal communication scientists have been keen to adopt insights from pragmatics research. Some authors couple their appeal to pragmatic aspects of communication with the claim that there are fundamental asymmetries between signalers and receivers in non-human animals. For example, in the case of primate vocal calls, signalers are said to produce signals unintentionally and mindlessly, whereas receivers are (...) thought to engage in contextual interpretation to derive the significance of signals. We argue that claims about signaler-receiver asymmetries are often confused. This is partly because their authors conflate two conceptions of pragmatics, which generate different accounts of the explanatory target for accounts of the evolution of language. Here we distinguish these conceptions, in order to help specify more precisely the proper explanatory target for language evolution research. (shrink)
Critical Pragmatics develops three ideas: language is a way of doing things with words; meanings of phrases and contents of utterances derive ultimately from human intentions; and language combines with other factors to allow humans to achieve communicative goals. In this book, Kepa Korta and John Perry explain why critical pragmatics provides a coherent picture of how parts of language study fit together within the broader picture of human thought and action. They focus on issues about singular reference, (...) that is, talk about particular things, places or people, which have played a central role in the philosophy of language for more than a century. They argue that attention to the 'reflexive' or 'utterance-bound' contents of utterances sheds new light on these old problems. Their important study proposes a new approach to pragmatics and should be of wide interest to philosophers of language and linguists. (shrink)
Although fallacies have been common since Aristotle, until recently little attention has been devoted to identifying and defining them. Furthermore, the concept of fallacy itself has lacked a sufficiently clear meaning to make it a useful tool for evaluating arguments. Douglas Walton takes a new analytical look at the concept of fallacy and presents an up-to-date analysis of its usefulness for argumentation studies. Walton uses case studies illustrating familiar arguments and tricky deceptions in everyday conversation where the charge of fallaciousness (...) is at issue. The numerous case studies show in concrete terms many practical aspects of how to use textual evidence to identify and analyze fallacies and to evaluate arguments as fallacious. Walton looks at how an argument is used in the context of conversation. He defines a fallacy as a conversational move, or sequence of moves, that is supposed to be an argument that contributes to the purpose of the conversation but in reality interferes with it. The view is a pragmatic one, based on the assumption that when people argue, they do so in a context of dialogue, a conventionalized normative framework that is goal-directed. Such a contextual framework is shown to be crucial in determining whether an argument has been used correctly. Walton also shows how examples of fallacies given in the logic textbooks characteristically turn out to be variants of reasonable, even if defeasible or questionable arguments, based on presumptive reasoning. This is the essence of the evaluation problem. A key thesis of the book, which must not be taken for granted as previous textbooks have so often done, is that you can spot a fallacy from how it was used in a context of dialogue. This is an innovative and even, as Walton notes, "a radical and controversial" theory of fallacy. (shrink)
The first truly multidisciplinary text of its kind, this book offers an original analysis of the current state of linguistic pragmatics. Cummings argues that no study of pragmatics can reasonably neglect the historical and contemporary influences on this.
Theories of explanation are characterized as being either pragmatic or non-pragmatic, without a clear sense of what this is supposed to mean. The present paper offers a definition of a "pragmatic explanation-sentence", and in terms of this, of a "pragmatic theory of explanation". It is argued that van Fraassen's theory of explanation, despite claims to the contrary, is not genuinely pragmatic. By contrast, the author's own "illocutionary" theory is pragmatic. Attention is devoted particularly to sentences of the form "E is (...) a good explanation of q", which, it is urged, are pragmatic in a strong sense. In defense of this claim, and of the advantages of a pragmatic account generally, appeal is made to Rutherford's 1911 subatomic explanation of the results of his scattering experiments. Implications of a pragmatic theory are drawn for the debate between realists and anti-realists and absolutists and relativists. (shrink)
Recent advances in the Super Linguistics of pictures have laid the Super Semantic foundation for modelling the phenomena of narrative sequencing and co-reference in pictorial and mixed linguistic-pictorial discourses. We take up the question of how one arrives at the pragmatic interpretations of such discourses. In particular, we offer an analysis of: (i) the discourse composition problem: how to represent the joint meaning of a multipicture discourse, (ii) observed differences in narrative sequencing in prima facie equivalent linguistic vs. pictorial discourses, (...) and (iii) the phenomenon of co-referencing across pictures. We extend Segmented Discourse Representation Theory to spell out a formal Super Pragmatics that applies to linguistic, pictorial and mixed discourses, while respecting the particular ‘genius’ of either medium and computing their distinctive pragmatic interpretations. (shrink)
What is the nature of communicative competence? Carol A. Kates addresses this crucial linguistic question, examining and finally rejecting the rationalistic theory proposed by Noam Chomsky and elaborated by Jerrold J. Katz, among others. She sets forth three reasons why the rationalistic model should be rejected: (1) it has not been supported by empirical tests; (2) it cannot accommodate the pragmatic relation between speaker and sign; and (3) the theory of universal grammar carries with it unacceptable metaphysical implications unless it (...) is interpreted in light of empiricism. Kates proposes an empiricist model in place of the rationalistic theory—a model that, in her view, is more consistent with recent findings in linguistics and psycholinguistics. In attempting to clarify the nature of utterance meaning, Kates develops theoretical perspectives on phenomenological empiricism and produces an account of reference and intentionality directly relevant to empirically based theories of speaking and understanding. Among the major topics addressed in the book are transformational-generative and universal grammar, cognitive theories of language acquisition, pragmatic structure, predication and topic-comment structure, and empiricism and the philosophical problem of universals. An innovative and probing work, Pragmatics and Semantics: An Empiricist Theory will be welcomed by philosophers, linguists, and psycholinguists. (shrink)
It is a truism that people speak ‘loosely’——that is, that they often say things that we can recognize not to be true, but which come close enough to the truth for practical purposes. Certain expressions. such as those including ‘exactly’, ‘all’ and ‘perfectly’, appear to serve as signals of the intended degree of approximation to the truth. This article presents a novel formalism for representing the notion of approximation to the truth, and analyzes the meanings of these expressions in terms (...) of this formalism. Pragmatic loosencss of this kind should be distinguished from authentic truth-conditional vagueness. (shrink)
Followers of Wittgenstein allegedly once held that a meaningful claim to know that p could only be made if there was some doubt about the truth of p. The correct response to this thesis involved appealing to the distinction between the semantic content of a sentence and features attaching to its use. It is inappropriate to assert a knowledge-claim unless someone in the audience has doubt about what the speaker claims to know. But this fact has nothing to do with (...) the semantic content of knowledgeascriptions; it is entirely explicable by appeal to pragmatic facts about felicitous assertion. (shrink)
On an intellectualist approach to belief, the intellectual endorsement of a proposition (such as “The working poor deserve as much respect as the handsomely paid”) is sufficient or nearly sufficient for believing it. On a pragmatic approach to belief, intellectual endorsement is not enough. Belief is behaviorally demanding. To really, fully believe, you must also “walk the walk.” This chapter argues that the pragmatic approach is preferable on pragmatic grounds: It rightly directs our attention to what matters most in thinking (...) about belief. (shrink)
Does knowledge depend in any interesting way on our practical interests? This is the central question in the pragmatic encroachment debate. Pragmatists defend the affirmative answer to this question while purists defend the negative answer. The literature contains two kinds of arguments for pragmatism: principle-based arguments and case-based arguments. Principle-based arguments derive pragmatism from principles that connect knowledge to practical interests. Case-based arguments rely on intuitions about cases that differ with respect to practical interests. I argue that there are insurmountable (...) problems for both kinds of arguments, and that it is therefore unclear what motivates pragmatism. (shrink)
Cognitive science is experiencing a pragmatic turn away from the traditional representation-centered framework toward a view that focuses on understanding cognition as "enactive." This enactive view holds that cognition does not produce models of the world but rather subserves action as it is grounded in sensorimotor skills. In this volume, experts from cognitive science, neuroscience, psychology, robotics, and philosophy of mind assess the foundations and implications of a novel action-oriented view of cognition. Their contributions and supporting experimental evidence show that (...) an enactive approach to cognitive science enables strong conceptual advances, and the chapters explore key concepts for this new model of cognition. The contributors discuss the implications of an enactive approach for cognitive development; action-oriented models of cognitive processing; action-oriented understandings of consciousness and experience; and the accompanying paradigm shifts in the fields of philosophy, brain science, robotics, and psychology. ContributorsMoshe Bar, Lawrence W. Barsalov, Olaf Blanke, Jeannette Bohg, Martin V. Butz, Peter F. Dominey, Andreas K. Engel, Judith M. Ford, Karl J. Friston, Chris D. Frith, Shaun Gallagher, Antonia Hamilton, Tobias Heed, Cecilia Heyes, Elisabeth Hill, Matej Hoffmann, Jakob Hohwy, Bernhard Hommel, Atsushi Iriki, Pierre Jacob, Henrik Jörntell, Jürgen Jost, James Kilner, Günther Knoblich, Peter König, Danica Kragic, Miriam Kyselo, Alexander Maye, Marek McGann, Richard Menary, Thomas Metzinger, Ezequiel Morsella, Saskia Nagel, Kevin J. O'Regan, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer, Giovanni Pezzulo, Tony J. Prescott, Wolfgang Prinz, Friedemann Pulvermüller, Robert Rupert, Marti Sanchez-Fibla, Andrew Schwartz, Anil K. Seth, Vicky Southgate, Antonella Tramacere, John K. Tsotsos, Paul F. M. J. Verschure, Gabriella Vigliocco, Gottfried Vosgerau. (shrink)
Take pragmatic encroachment to be the view that whether one knows that p is determined at least in part by the practical consequences surrounding the truth of p. This view represents a significant departure from the purist orthodoxy, which holds that only truth-relevant factors determine whether one knows. In this chapter I consider some consequences of accepting pragmatic encroachment when applied to problems of political knowledge and political ignorance: first, that there will be cases in which it will not be (...) practically rational to acquire political knowledge when the stakes surrounding one’s political actions are high; second, that political knowledge can be more easily acquired when one values the welfare of others less; and third, that pragmatic encroachment may fail to account for a form of epistemic injustice when it comes to evaluating the political knowledge of members of marginalized groups. I argue that while these consequences are undesirable, the extent to which the pragmatic encroacher is committed to them depends both on the details of the theory, as well as the extent to which one considers political knowledge to be important. (shrink)
I argue that the offense generation pattern of slurring terms parallels that of impoliteness behaviors, and is best explained by appeal to similar purely pragmatic mechanisms. In choosing to use a slurring term rather than its neutral counterpart, the speaker signals that she endorses the term. Such an endorsement warrants offense, and consequently slurs generate offense whenever a speaker's use demonstrates a contrastive preference for the slurring term. Since this explanation comes at low theoretical cost and imposes few constraints on (...) an account of the semantics of slurs, this suggests that we should not require semantic accounts to provide an independent explanation of the offense profile. (shrink)
Vorschläge für staatliche DNA-Datenbanken und die kürzlichen Enthüllungen und öffentlichen Präsentationen des Sexuallebens des amerikanischen Präsidenten geben den Anlaß für diese Reflexionen über die Bedeutung des Rechts auf Privatheit. Dabei werden die Ambiguität des Ausdrucks "Privatheit" und eines möglichen Rechts auf Privatheit erörtert, sowie die Spannung zwischen dem Wert eines gesellschaftlichen Gutes wie der Durchsetzung des Rechts einerseits und dem Wert des Schutzes des einzelnen vor Einbrüchen in die intimen Details seines Lebens andererseits. Hierzu werden insbesondere die Ansichten von Thomas (...) Nagel und Immanuel Kant dargestellt, um zu erklären, welche Bedeutung es für den Menschen hat, eine private Sphäre von Gedanken und ganz allgemein von Verhalten zu schützen. Proposals for government DNA data banks and recent exhumation and public exhibition of a president's sex life prompt these reflections on the importance of privacy. The ambiguity of the term "privacy" and of a putative right to privacy is noted. The tension between the value of such social goods as law enforcement and the value of freedom from intrusion into the intimate details of one's life is explored. The views of Thomas Nagel and Immanuel Kant are cited in explaining the human importance of preserving a private sphere of thought and conduct generally. (shrink)
This paper introduces pragmatic hypotheses and relates this concept to the spiral of scientific evolution. Previous works determined a characterization of logically consistent statistical hypothesis tests and showed that the modal operators obtained from this test can be represented in the hexagon of oppositions. However, despite the importance of precise hypothesis in science, they cannot be accepted by logically consistent tests. Here, we show that this dilemma can be overcome by the use of pragmatic versions of precise hypotheses. These pragmatic (...) versions allow a level of imprecision in the hypothesis that is small relative to other experimental conditions. The introduction of pragmatic hypotheses allows the evolution of scientific theories based on statistical hypothesis testing to be interpreted using the narratological structure of hexagonal spirals, as defined by Pierre Gallais. (shrink)
Pragmatic encroachers argue that whether you know that p depends on a combination of pragmatic and epistemic factors. Most defenses of pragmatic encroachment focus on a particular pragmatic factor: how much is at stake for an individual. This raises a question: are there reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on other pragmatic factors that parallel the reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on the stakes? In this paper I argue that there are parallel reasons for thinking that knowledge depends on (...) social factors such as one’s social role or identity. I call this social encroachment. After defending social encroachment, I compare and contrast social encroachment with some key ideas in feminist epistemology. I argue that, while there are some important similarities, there are also some important differences. I finish by commenting on what I take the upshots of these differences to be. (shrink)
_Thoughts and Utterances_ is the first sustained investigation of two distinctions which are fundamental to all theories of utterance understanding: the semantics/pragmatics distinction and the distinction between what is explicitly communicated and what is implicitly communicated.
The central problem for pragmatics is that sentence meaning vastly underdetermines speaker’s meaning. The goal of pragmatics is to explain how the gap between sentence meaning and speaker’s meaning is bridged. This paper defends the broadly Gricean view that pragmatic interpretation is ultimately an exercise in mind-reading, involving the inferential attribution of intentions. We argue, however, that the interpretation process does not simply consist in applying general mind-reading abilities to a particular (communicative) domain. Rather, it involves a dedicated (...) comprehension module, with its own special principles and mechanisms. We show how such a metacommunicative module might have evolved, and what principles and mechanisms it might contain. (shrink)
_Pragmatic Perspectives in Phenomenology_ offers a complex analysis of the pragmatic theses that are present in the works of leading phenomenological authors, including not only Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty, as it is often the case within Hubert Dreyfus’ tradition, but also Husserl, Levinas, Scheler, and Patocka. Starting from a critical reassessment of existing pragmatic readings which draw especially on Heidegger’s account of Being-in-the-world, the volume’s chapters explore the following themes as possible justifications for speaking about the pragmatic turn in phenomenology: the (...) primacy of the practical over theoretical understanding, criticism of the representationalist account of perception and consciousness, and the analysis of language and truth within the context of social and cultural practices. Having thus analyzed the pragmatic readings of key phenomenological concepts, the book situates these readings in a larger historical and thematic context and introduces themes that until now have been overlooked in debates, including freedom, alterity, transcendence, normativity, distance, and self-knowledge. This volume seeks to refresh the debate about the phenomenological legacy and its relevance for contemporary thought by enlarging the thematic scope of pragmatic motives in phenomenology in new and revealing ways. It will be of interest to advanced students and scholars of phenomenology who are interested in moving beyond the analytic-continental divide to explore the relationship between practice and theory. (shrink)
This paper argues that pragmatic considerations similar to the ones that Grice has shown pertain to assertability pertain to acceptability. It further shows how this should affect some widely held epistemic principles. The idea of a pragmatics of belief is defended against some seemingly obvious objections.
Traditional theistic arguments conclude that God exists. Pragmatic theistic arguments, by contrast, conclude that you ought to believe in God. The two most famous pragmatic theistic arguments are put forth by Blaise Pascal (1662) and William James (1896). Pragmatic arguments for theism can be summarized as follows: believing in God has significant benefits, and these benefits aren’t available for the unbeliever. Thus, you should believe in, or ‘wager on’, God. This article distinguishes between various kinds of theistic wagers, including finite (...) vs. infinite wagers, premortem vs. postmortem wagers, and doxastic vs. acceptance wagers. Then, we’ll turn to the epistemic-pragmatic distinction, and discusses the nuances of James’ argument, and how views like epistemic permissivism and epistemic consequentialism provide unique “hybrid” wagers. Finally, we’ll cover outstanding objections and responses. (shrink)
Kant’s and Hegel’s transcendental argument for mental-content externalism breaks the deadlock between ‘internal’ and genuine realists. This argument shows that human beings can only be self-conscious in a world that provides a humanly recognizable regularity and variety among the things (or events) we sense. This feature of the world cannot result from human thought or language. Hence semantic arguments against realism can only be developed if realism about the world is true. Some of Putnam’s arguments for internal realism are taken (...) as cases in point, and criticized accordingly. Pragmatic realists can use this transcendental argument, because its strong modal claims are consistent with falliblist accounts of justification. (shrink)
Drawing on the legacy of prominent pragmatic philosophers and political economists—C. S. Peirce, William James, John Dewey, Thorstein Veblen, and John R. Commons—Charles W. Anderson creatively brings pragmatism and liberalism together, striving to temper the excesses of both and to fashion a broader vision of the proper domain of political reason.
This is a collection of nine papers dealing with the topic of reporting on beliefs and other attitudes, and in particular with the issue of the semantics-pragmatics boundary dispute which is the core topic of research in the field.
Defenders of pragmatic encroachment in epistemology hold that practical factors have implications for a belief’s epistemic status. Paradigm defenders of pragmatic encroachment have held—to state their positions roughly— that whether someone’s belief that p constitutes knowledge depends on the practical reasons that she has (Stanley 2005), that knowing p is necessary and sufficient for treating p as a reason for action (Hawthorne and Stanley 2008), or that knowing p is sufficient for reasonably acting as if p (Fantl and McGrath 2009: (...) 66). Although their defenders may not always pose their theses in the language of practical reasons, the idea of a practical reason is central to each of these views. Yet there remain issues concerning the nature and basis of practical reasons on which defenders of pragmatic encroachment have not taken a position, including—as I will explain—the issue of whether internalism or externalism about reasons is true. It may be thought that the position the defender of pragmatic encroachment takes on this does not make a difference to the truth or falsity of her main thesis. In this chapter, I will show that it does matter, in the sense that her view will generate different verdicts about cases depending on whether she endorses internal- ism or externalism about reasons. Given the role of cases in providing intui- tive support for or against the theory, this, in turn, makes a difference to the plausibility of pragmatic encroachment. (shrink)
Pragmatics and Literature is an important collection of new work by leading practitioners working at the interface between pragmatic theory and literary analysis. The individual studies collected here draw on a variety of theoretical approaches and are concerned with a range of literary genres. All have a shared focus on applying ideas from specific pragmatic frameworks to understanding the production, interpretation and evaluation of literary texts. A full-length introductory chapter highlights distinctions and contrasts between pragmatic theories, but also brings (...) out complementarities, shared aims and assumptions, and ways in which different pragmatic theories can make different contributions to our understanding of literary texts. The book as a whole encourages a sense of coherence for the field and presents insights from various approaches for systematic comparison. Building on previous work by the editors, the contributors and others, it makes a significant contribution to the growing field of pragmatic literary stylistics. (shrink)